Bad Timing? BMW Spot Shows 8-Series Driving On Venice Canals As City Is Under Water

It’s not every day that a brand like BMW resurrects an iconic nameplate like the 8 Series.

It goes without saying that such an important launch had to be done in style. Well, BMW’s debut commercial for the all-new 2019 8 Series Coupe has all the right ingredients for success.

The automaker had its sports car drive through the historical center of Venice, something no one has done before. Yes, the 8 Series drove along the Canal Grande and under the Rialto bridge, a route never before covered by an automobile.

To do that, the 8 Series didn’t develop amphibious capabilities. Instead, BMW built pontoons along Venice’s waterways, allowing the 8 Series Coupe to drive in a city dominated by boats. Remarkably, local authorities allowed the building of a pontoon structure for the first time in the city’s history.

The TV commercial is about a young Venetian boy that loves BMWs but is frustrated by the fact that he lives in a city without cars. Years later, he returns to Venice as a young man and fulfills his dream of driving the 8 Series Coupe on the historic city’s waterways. According to BMW, the ad is about making “the apparently impossible come true and turn long-nurtured dreams into reality.”

Undoubtedly, the commercial offers a spectacular visual experience that will stick in the viewers’ memory for a long time. However, the timing for the ad’s release could be better.

You see, these days Venice is seeing some of the worst floods in recent history as deadly storms sweep across northern Italy. As much as 75 percent of the city is now submerged. Rising floodwaters claimed many of Venice’s famous squares and walkways. In the central St Mark’s Square, for instance, the water level reached 1,560 mm (5.1 ft), the fourth highest level ever recorded.

In this context, releasing a commercial that shows the BMW 8 Series Coupe driving on the city’s canals with a cheerful tune in the background might appear insensitive to some.

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  • ace_9

    BMW marketing department really knows what it is doing. It is a shamelessly disgusting advertisement for me, suggesting that you really can buy anything, if you are rich enough, regardless of the morality of some purchases. But I like how they know exactly what kind of personality their target customers have…

    • Mike anonymous

      While I’m not sure I can 100% agree and/or disagree with the second part of your statement,.. I DO agree that BMW’s Marketing division knows exactly what it is doing. (What their reason for releasing the commercial now of all times is, or who their customer base is,.. I’m not sure).

      • ace_9

        Sure, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I just wrote my opinion. I don’t like the idea of someone making his personal road to drive his BMW in a place, where it is simply not appropriate, just because he can and is egoistic enough. And wrapping it up in a story about a simple boy always wanting to drive a car in his city is even more disgusting to me. What person would really do that? Only a psychopath that never really grew up. I’m probably overthinking it, but I can’t help myself. And releasing such a commercial now seems practically like a straightforward insult to all common people that have to deal with far more important things than fulfilling their childish dreams about driving a BMW in Venice… I mean what’s next? Cullinan commercial about comfortably driving home all the newly purchased “wifes” from a secret women market for ultra rich?

        • lagunas3ca

          Generally it’s the people that don’t get offended by all this casual racism, sexuality, and feminism that have higher morals than people like you who are too busy ranting and concerning themselves with everything but living their lives instead of burying their heads in their phones.

          • ace_9

            You are mistaking me with someone you just imagined 🙂 I don’t have a problem with the things you mentioned. In fact, in one of the recent articles here, I joked about recommending toyota to not sell their new truck to women, because they advertised it as “made for men” and there were people (mostly women I guess) offended by that. And for the record, I would write the same thing (inverting the genders obviously), if there would be a car advertised as “made for women”. I’m not even that busy ranting about things. I don’t visit that many sites and I’m commenting almost exclusively only on this site. This BMW commercial just annoyed me for some reason (mostly the moral aspect of it) and I have some spare time, so I wrote my opinion about it here. I’m not imagining it would change something or that someone would really care. I’m even surprised you care about my opinion so much. But thanks for reading my rants, I guess…

    • lagunas3ca

      Grow up ffs.

      • ace_9

        I’m at least grown up enough to argue and explain my point if I don’t agree with something. But your “argument” is only telling me that there is no point in such discussion with you. So I will not even try. But as I said, I’m ok when someone does not agree with me. Just try to be maybe more… articulate next time.

  • sidewaysspin

    You buy a BMW you will sink too.

  • Mike anonymous

    There are some serious things going on with our planet such as the slight shifting in (x-number of degrees) of our poles, the magnetosphere is acting ‘way’ up, I mean even take a look at our own sun in some areas of the world and our moon. There’s a lot going on,. and a lot of these things are effecting the weather in very major and unexpected way. (Recently (although I don’t live where I am at the current moment) there was a typhoon (largest in 60 years),.. trees that had been growing for longer 30-40+ years, snapped over night, flooding everywhere).

    The flooding in Venice is just one of these many events around the world. It is unfortunate that BMW had to release an ad featuring the city itself. While I do think it is bad timing (and I’m sure BMW spent quite a bit of money and time filming this commercial),.. I do believe they could have held off on releasing it.

    My point being: There’s a lot of changes going on around the world like this (Venice being one of them),.. BMW likely filmed and was preparing to release the commercial prior to this,.. BUT ULTIMATELY,.. they could have waited some time to release this.

  • Bill Nguyen

    Ah, it’s time to get offended/outraged again!

  • S3XY

    We know your city is flooding, but take a look at our new car

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